BBQ at the Woods

Saturday evening Kingsley and I invited a bunch of friends over for a big BBQ.  We wanted to see everyone before we leave for Seattle for the next few weeks.

The men had a fantastic time working our 2 BBQ stations to capacity.  They hand their hands full cooking chicken skewers, boerewors, veg kabobs, salmon and chicken wings!

The ladies kept busy around the appetizer table chatting and snacking on my home-made white bean hummus and Jens amazing (super secret recipe) Mexican dip.

Looking around the table at dinner I was overwhelmed with a sense of happiness and thankfulness for the really special friendships we have made these last two years.  On cue, as if the Chinese New Year of the Dragon read my mind, the most amazing display of fireworks filled the sky.  Of course I couldn't resist taking full credit for the fireworks but found out later it was for the Chingay parade which is a part of the (extended) Chinese New Year celebrations.

We were also able to have my moms brother - Uncle Don - over for dinner last night. He is in Singapore briefly for a work trip (Rolls Royce).  The last time we saw him was at our wedding almost 5 years ago so it was really special to be able to catch up!

Tomorrow morning EARLY we leave for Seattle!

Hunger Games Book Club

Six months ago I was given the honor of an invitation to join a very close-knit and well established book club that have been meeting together for years.  We meet once a month and have read a great mix of books.  Some very deep and thought provoking novels and some just for fun easy reads as well.

The month of January it was the Hunger Games and my turn to host.  In prior book club evenings the host has always done a meal that relates to the book in some way. When we read The Big Short about the banking crisis in 2008 we had New Yorker bagel sandwiches. When reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks we had fried okra.

The main problem with hosting book club for the Hunger Games is the book is fiction and there are some seriously weird food combos in the book:

- rose petal cream soup
- clear green broth
- wild squirrel stew
- seaweed bread

Just a few of the tempting choices I had to work with for my book club menu.

Instead of making everyone eat something really strange I ended up doing normal stuff with creative new names that related to the book and characters.

Catching Fire Pumpkin Seeds
Tracker Jacker Hummus
Perfectly Prim Baked Brie cheese
Lamb Stuffed "Peeta" bread
Sleep Syrup - wine
Poison Berry Pie

Everyone loved the labels and we had a great evening eating, drinking and chatting about the book.

Only downside was doing the dishes the next morning! Its a good thing I don't have to host again for quite a while.  I am pretty sure I HAND washed every single dish we own.  I sure do miss our dishwasher in the US...